Mariah has a magic-meddling mum, and about to discover she’s a storm summoning mermaid that needs to gain control of her emotion-connected powers ready for the impending battle with the powerful, unstoppable death crows!
What are three things you want us to know as we read?
You most likely think you are an ordinary human being but what if one day your ordinary life was turned upside down. Everything is changing, you feel vulnerable and start crushing on your best friend. Do you peruse that romance knowing it could destroy your friendship or watch in agony as they get closer to someone else. To make matters worse, imagine your emotions give life to your dormant supernatural abilities and you have no idea how to control them. This is what is starting to happen to Mariah.
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From… Jewel of the Sea…
Splinters threatened my skin as my hands grasped the wood and pulled at the panel of cheap fencing to open a triangle at the foot. Once wide enough to fit through, I flattened myself to the ground. Using my elbows and hips I pushed my way past the rich scent of soil that warmed my heart and made me think of my best friend Jace.
Once through on the other side, I dusted the dirt off my knees. Jace's garden looked empty. My shoulder stung. As I glanced to my left I saw where I'd caught myself on the fence. The scratch left a bright red line and blood smudged across onto my blue vest top. Mum would be mad. I licked my thumb and tried to rub it off.
"Aghhh!" I screamed as my body was shocked in an icy cold shower. I turned around to find Jace standing there with the garden hose in his hand, laughing his head off.
"Jace!" I yelled. We'd spent all summer hanging out, like always.
With a naughty glint in his eye, he lifted the hose and soaked me again.
"Cut that out!" I ran at him to pull the hose out of his hand. He dodged out of my way and ran past me. As I chased after him, round his garden, he kept spraying me over his shoulder. In the beautiful heat of the summer sun, I welcomed the refreshing relief.
Finally, trapping him by the shed, I grabbed the hose. He still wouldn't let go and as we wrestled over it, he kept managing to squirt my face. Using my fingers, I changed the direction of the water and got him back. He made a funny gurgling noise and laughed, shaking the water from his blonde mop of hair.
"That doesn't sound like my plants are getting watered!" Denny yelled from the kitchen window. His mum was younger than mine. She had delicate features and high cheekbones framed by her dark pixie cut.
"Sorry, mum," Jace yelled back. His lip curled on one side as he tried in earnest to appear sincere, "You need to let go so I can continue with my chores."
"No way," I giggled, knowing as soon as I let go, he'd spray me, "We'll just have to do it together."
We then started watering the plants together, both refusing to let go of the hose.
"This is stupid Mariah," His blue eyes twinkled. "It would be much quicker if you just let me do it."
"I know you too well, Jace." I grinned as I argued back. "Why don't you just let me do it?"
"I couldn't shirk my responsibilities like that." Jace countered.
"I really don't mind." I felt him try to tip the hose up towards me. The water ran up the fence but I managed to stop him. "Cut it out, Jace?"
"Oops!" He said with humour, his eyes alive with merriment.
The afternoon continued with the same upbeat light-heartedness. We sat out in the sun, enjoying ice creams and chilled drinks. Little did I know that it would be one of the last days of carefree fun and games next-door. It started with Denny arriving at our house without Jace. We always found excuses to hang out together, so it made me feel unsettled that he hadn't come over with her.
She'd come to see mum, but I hovered around the kitchen. Her eyes stared down into a mug of tea, slowly stirring her sugar spoon, her gaze lost in a deep spin of thought.
"Are you going to drink that or spit out what's on your mind?" Mum asked.
Denny sighed, "I was hoping you already knew."
Mum isn't like ordinary mums. She is that woman with dark flowing hair who tells fortunes at spiritual fairs.
I stood up on my tiptoes to reach the cake tin and helped myself to one of the buttercream cupcakes; a product of mum and Denny's Sparkle Cake home bakery business.
"Don't make me dig out my crystal ball..." Mum threatened Denny. Her tone made me think I'd been caught with my sugary delight. For a moment I paused, wincing as I waited for 'don't spoil your dinner' or 'stop eating our profits' but she was too focussed on Denny to notice me.
Denny took a deep breath like she was conjuring up the courage to speak. With an awkward smile on her face, she said, "Dave and I have found somewhere to live together, a home of our own." But her blue eyes shone, brimming with tears.
"That's great news." Mum cheered.
"What is it, Denny?"
"We’ll no longer be neighbors and it's all the way over on the other side of town. I feel so conflicted. It's perfect but I'm gonna miss you guys."
Her words were like the icy shower from the hose but without the warm relief of the sun or uplifting sound of Jace's laughter.
"You can't!" I snapped. Jace was my life! I needed him close! I needed him next door! I no longer wanted the bun, it was too sweet and I cast it aside on the counter.
"The cakes?" Denny gasped realizing what I'd done.
Mum threw me a disapproving look, "Mariah, go get the washing off the line!"
I stormed out the kitchen through the back door of our small terrace house, slamming it shut behind me. Without bothering to unpeg the clothes from the line, I began pulling them free and dumping them into the laundry basket. This haphazard manner completed the task too fast and I wasn't ready to go back inside.
I snuck over to the fence looking for the loose panel and pulled... but it wouldn't move. Then, I saw the evil glint of a new nail, hammered in to keep the plank in place; Keeping me out. I kicked at it, hurting my foot.
I sank onto the grass, my back pressed against the fence. As I gazed up towards Jace's bedroom window my heart felt like a rock, unpleasant and heavy in my chest. I was consumed by a sinking feeling as I realised he really was going and there was nothing I could do about it.
Then, to make matters worse, the sky beautiful blue sky darkened. Heavy rapid rain soaked through my t-shirt as I raced inside. I didn't stop in the kitchen with mum and Gwyn, I carried on up to my room. I dropped onto my bed, laying on my back, staring out the window at the raging storm that felt as if it spoke to my soul, mirroring my anger.